>> this is al jazeera america live. w a look at today's top stories. detroit is officially bankrupt. we have some heavy work ahead of us. holding a news conference at this hour, and confusion over arafat's death as the french rule out poisons as the cause. a historic day in detroit, as the motor city becomes the largest municipality ever to enter bankruptcy.
the decision clears the way for detroit to shed $18 billion in debt, but not without hurting residents, creditors and pensioners. she is in detroit, bc, what's been the reaction to this decision, a lot of people obviously impacted by this? >> yes, i can tell you that reaction for the most part has been micked. on one hand, you have these retireees who they know for the most part they were dreading this day, and they heard what they didn't want to hear. they were hearing that their pension could be reduced and on the other hand, i am hear alsoing from people who say okay, we realize we recognize and now it is confirmed that the city has a huge financial problem on its hands so maybe we can use this bankruptcy as an opportunity to start over. >> that's the big fear. our mentions may go on
the chopping block, our water department may be sold off, and this is the fear. >> for me personally, and for most of the people in detroit. and there are 23,000 retirees that's a lot of people but there's oh services that effect half a million people here. >> right now the city has 20,000 plus retirees and they are just waiting to see what the next step will be. earlier today, i did have the opportunity to speak with a lawyer representing ask me, and she said okay we heard from the judge, but guess what this is not over, they already filed an appeal. >> wait a minute, how does this ruling actually -- i get ask me will say, but how does this ruling impact the loss filed by those pensions? i am told because of this bankruptcy and the way that things are moving, that sure, these
different organizations and enderrings are filing these appeals but for the most part they won't have much in effect on the overall bankruptcy proceeding. >> is that the next step here? >> yes. that is the next step. so now we know the city has the green light. it is my understanding that the judge is giving until march to resubmit a restructuring plan. as i mentioned the city is trying to move this on the fast track. the emergency manager came out today and he spoke, and said what we are trying to get this through as fast as possible. i will have that plan to the judge. >> all right, appreciate it. it is our top story today from detroit. b.c., thank you.
and joining us from detroit is ryan, he is an attorney who represents many retired workers who rely on their pensions. war you surprise bid the judge's decision? >> i was not surprised specifically on the it mate ruling. as to how far the judge went in his ruling it was a bit surprising and disappointing. including bondholderrings which i was disappointed now. >> let's get to some of the nuts and bolts. what does history tell you. the history of over bankruptcies as to what happens next. how much are pensioners
likely to lose on a percentage basis if we can be that specific. this is by far the largest municipal bankruptcy in the u.s., and to my knowledge, there was not any retireed benefits or pensions that have been directly impaired by a plan outside of any consensual resolution. so two ahead. >> i think it is based on the constitutional protections that michigan has provided these benefits in the constitution. the benefits prior to filing his proposal for creditors the pensions are sack rah intercepted, and the judges ruling today while it was the first decision, on the matter -- it may not be
the last. >> why do you believe -- you lawsuit on behalf of pensioners -- proceeding on a separate tract, why do you believe that that suit is going to be a successful? because the money owed to pensioners is thought to be sack rah isn't? i believe there's ways of monotizing that came through the eligible trial, being the detroit institute of art and monotizing that. without express sale of those assets to provide revenue streams for pension benefits i think it is something that needs to be more diligently pursued and considered by the city. >> i know you are being thrown by what you are hearing in the background, just another piece of tape of the demonstrations. who do you represent? because my understanding is you don't represent the unions so if i'm a
pensioner, first of all, what words of encouragement can you offer me today? >> as it relates to any appellate proceedings the association parties which is the association, and the retired firefighters association, and are pursuing other avenues through the mediation process, in which the president of each association are involved in the mediation process. through the official retiree committee. >> all right, appreciate it. he represents many retires workers who rely on their pensions and he is joining us from detroit. now to that deadly train crash in new york city.
federal investigators say the commuter train was going way too fast. 82 mimes an hour, the question is why, and before it is out today, suggest it may have been caused by human error. lisa czar joins us now. good to see you. what have you been learning today? >> well, tony, the attention now is focused on the man at the controls. he was the engineer of this early morning run. he said he zoned out right before the accident, and was jolted to attention too late to stop this speeding train. now, that makes sense based on what we know so far according to don phillips. he covered transportation for decades for the washington post, and now rights for trains mac zone. >> that is sort of rare
these days for someone in railroading to speed. so it is just someone that leads to the possibility that for some reason he was not paying attention. >> the safety board said there is nothing wrong with the tract. >> have they talked about technology, right, that may have prevented -- actually prevented the crash, can you tell us about that? >> it's called positive train control, it is a very sophisticating technology. it uses computers, and gps satellite sensors on the track. a central control system. could that have helped here? we asked ntsb board member about that.
seven. >> which is a technical name for a system that prevents trains from occupying the same set of tracks. it does provide signals for the train to slow. question don't know if that would have made a difference, we will be looking at that. >> now, congress has man tated that positive train control be on the runs by the end of 2015, but a number of rail lines including the one involved in this accident, have said they will not meet that deadline. lisa appreciate it. this afternoon, it happens we will of course bring you live updates. now to asia. where vice president has voiced strong opposition to the new defense zone in the east china sea.
>> we are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the east china sea. when he visits china tomorrow, he is also scheduled to visit south korea. a vigil was held for an american contractor who has been held in a cue want prison for four years. he was arrested while setting up internet service. he believes it was part of a u.s. plot to undermine its government, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail. libby casey joins us now. good to see you, what happened today? >> allen gross' wife, judy gloss, wants to put a picture and a personality behind the scene. she wants americans and president obama to feel connected to her husband.
he was doing this work as a subcontractor, for a u.s. agency, and the work was to set up internet access for the jewish community opinion he had this rally today that was atented by his wife, but also by a large representation of the jewish community. that is pushing for his release. he has lost 100-pounds and he even has more intense problems. >> left to die, by his country. what could be worse than thinking that your government isn't doing anything to bring you home. so what is the white house reaction to allen
gross' situation. >> well, the president says he talked about this today, the situation is unacceptable. he demanding the immediate and unconditionallal release. how, jay carney, the president to get more -- the problem is we are having this cold war mentality. things haven't really fallen out with cuba. personally engaged and other international figures to use their influence with cuba, to bro mote the beliefs. at the forefront of discussions is made clear the importance of the united states places on his welfare. >> the question is, of course, what can happen.
the one thing cuba has interested is a release of a so called cuban five. four men are still detained here in the u.s. they were arrested in one, for spying on anti-castro exiles. that's one thing that cuba says it wants in return, but the u.s. government says they are not going to bargain. >> libby casey for us. we are learning more about an american veteran being held in north korea. the filters were hailed as hire rows but they were feared that newman was preparing to visit former members when he was detained. fresh investigators concluded that yasir arafat died of natural causes. although, they did find, higher than normal levels of the radio active element in his body.
similar tests done by russia were inconclusive. all three were conducted after al jazeera obtained statutes of the clothes he wore shortly before his dead. his wife reacted to the french report just a short time ago in paris. what should one think? >> clayton swisher was the documentary maker whose investigated prompted his widow to request her husband's body be exhumed. and tested. tell us more, if you would, about the french investigation? >> as far as they are
concern, the swiss remain the only game in town, they are hoping that the french court will allow them to aapproach the bench and present their findings alongside the french ones. their 180 page report, that we made public, they said that gas could not have caused those very high levels of polonium. and so -- now that the attorneys are started to look at who are the french experts involved and as we covered it last year, we know, for example. that the french did not send any experts to conduct those tests. so it is going to be become a he said she said, and only the judges
here in france can make that determination. >> well, it is hard to say. in the entire country you cannot make public these results. she has given some indications about what the report says, as has an expert, but there's no way to publish them and have it open transparent debate. so we are going off of hear say and in some cases nonexpertsing about it. they reach a different conclusion. they are saying that ray done gas may have caused this and the swiss are saying with moderate competent that a poisons is what caused this. >> al jazeera clayton swisher for us, good to see you, thank you. >> what we are looking at
a lot of snow, but such a long period of snow being reported in minnesota. had about a foot of snow that is coming down. looking like it is tapering off. but certainly scenes have shown us that a lot of snow has been down, and fairly heavy at times. a lot of kids having the day off from school thanks to this snow coming down. the temperatures are dropping and the snow continues to fall. four to inch inches there in minnesota. 12 inches, a foot of snow coming down there in colorado. that is today and tomorrow, as this air moves south. bismark, 13. 16-degrees in rapid city, it is that arctic air that is moving south, combines with that. wind gusts starting to see those climb over 20 miles an hour. 21 mile-an-hour wind
gusts in fargo. so this will create some very bitter cold wind chills. look at those numbers plus how that air will effect the entire country, that's all coming one the national forecast, i will have that later. >> dave, thank you. still ahead, the controversy brewing over bear hunting. wow. why these dogs and this sugary concoction that you see there, are considered down right unfair. trapped under water for three days the dramatic rescue caught on video. >> are you smarter than a 15-year-old? a door makes four rotations, in one minute. it can hold two people in each of the three sectors. sow how many people can walk through in 30 minutes. jonathan bets has the question suching american students, and news anchors next on al jazeera america.
>> this isn't a new channel, this is a watershed moment in media for america. >> this entire region is utterly devastated. >> people our here are struggling. >> the fire jumped the highway we took earlier. >> your average viewer want's to actually understand how the health care law is going to help them or hurt them. >> they know they can get extremist bickering somewhere else. >> people say that we're revolutionary. our revolution is just going back to doing the best in journalism. >> this is the place to go watch high quality journalism, period. >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story next
only on al jazeera america new test scores show american students just aren't making the grade. the study compares u.s. teens to piers in other countries. >> not a big surprise, but also not encouraging. tests showing american students are lagging. the program for international student assessment, testing 15-year-olds around the world. now top scorers were in asian countries. united states is actually in the middle of the packet, did not even crack the top 20. in fact, only 9% of teens scored in the top two levels of math, compare that to shanghai. but also places like
czech republic, and latvia, all did better than u.s. students. for what it is worth they did better than mexico, indonesia, and jordan. the quite has not approved its scores much. the picture of stagnation, so tony, not good news for the united states. you want to try one of these questions. >> excise me? >> these are the same questions by the way 15-year-old kids are facing. here is the first one. revolving door including three wings which rotate within a circular shape. >> i just read that into the tease, i had no clue -- >> it is that question. >> right. >> 15-year-old students have to answer. >> go down to the bottom, what is the maximum number of people that can enter in the door in 30 minutes. here is the trick. >> you have that right. >>ly tell you, it is really easy. >> the man just shamed me. i have no clue. >> i know, it is complicated you need a calculator, they just
bury you in words. >> yes. >> they try to trick the students. the answer is just multiplay four time three time three times 20. >> right. i knew that i was u.s. have playing along. jonathan, thank you, i have one for you nix hour. >> all right. >> let's get to some business news now. on wall street, suddenly the investors are in sell mode. that hasn't happened since late september, concern about the fed pulling back, on its stimulus program is behind.
meanwhile, total internet sales were a record $23 billion wal-mart says cyber monday was its best online sales day ever. thank you for having me, i am well, how are you. >> terrific. i wish i understand big math questions better, but beyond that i'm great. cyber month, is this the new black friday? >> it is a smashing success, and there are more sales than ever before. and that due to mobile traffic? or what extent is it due? >> a significant portion is coming from tablets.
people are poising on their smart phones more than ever. i would say you are seeing a lot of retailers matching the discounts in stores on line. >> it is getting better and better a lot of times a pop up will come up saying can we offer help, and a live person will be there waiting to chap with you. they are doing everything you can, putting in your sizes get alerts when certain items go on sale that are in a color you like. and so on. so it is definitely moving quickly. >> as far as doubling
down, people have been scrambling to catch up all year. >> omni chan. >> what is senate. >> omni channel. >> what does that mean again. >> basically having a seemless experience across stores, the internet, browsing on the phone. >> what are your thoughts on the holiday season, how well retailers may or maybe will be a little disappointed, what are your thoughts now, given the big bump on cyber monday? >> because they are defending so heavily -- they are selling at very thin margins just to get people in the door. >> yeah.
great to have you back on the program, come see us again. in other news, a nigeria cook who was trapped 100 feet under water, was recued and it was all caught on video. the man survived in an air pocket, of that tug boat, he was sailing on after it overturned, while pulling an oil tanker, divers were sent in to collect the bodies of the dead, crewman who were there, and were literally shocked to find a man alive. the rescue happened sib months ago, but the footage was just posted on line. coming up, getting help for musicians sorely in need of health insurance. and baites are about to hold a news conference on sunday's deadly train crash in new york city.
18 billion-dollar debt. that can include cutting pensions. scientists find yasir arafat did not die radio active poisons. let's get to the latest now on the train derailment in new york city. >> performed the proper brake test prior to the accident leaving the station. and again, no anomalies were noted. we also looked a the data for each of the station stops and saw no anolllies or deg grow face of a braking performance as the trip went along. similar my put, based on this data, there's no indication that the brake
systems were not functioning properly. also today, investigators began a more detailed inspection in each of the railroad cars and the locomotive. these cars were moved late yesterday to secure rail yards and investigators spent the day documents and independenting the mechanical systems. in addition we are continuing to -- we are continuing signal testing and to date no anolllies have been found. including the engineer whose interview is currently underway. the first responders to the accident scene, as requires by federal regulation, following the accident, each member of the crew was drug and alcohol tests. the results from the alcohol breath test were all negative, the results from the other testing are still pending. with regard to the
engineer, he has worked for metro north for 15 year and has been an engineer for ten of those. was his regular rout, making two round trips each day, with a typical day lasting approximately nine hours. is engineer has been running this particular rout full time since november 17th, this was the second day of a five day work week. now many of you have asked about whether positive train control would have prevented this p p what i can say is more than 20 years the ntsb has implemented technology, broadly speaking, we know that human error can't be eradicated, and that ptc is capable of
supplementing the human operation. these systems slow or stop a train that is not being operated in accordance with signals, speed limits, or other open rating rules. it is proven technology. and into work zones. since this is a derailment, it is possible it could have prevented it. while this is our last on scene media briefing, a work on this investigation is far from complete. investigators will continue interviewing the crew and employees of metro north, and will interview passengers on the train and additional first responders as necessary. they will also complete testing of the system, and documentation and independenting of the rail cards and the locomotives. i'd like to express my sincere appreciation to all the responders and officials from state and
local new york government, at every turn they have made our jobs easier, and we really appreciate their support. finally before i take questions i would like to set some ground rules. if you have a question, please raise your hand, and i will call on you. i want to make sure as many of you as possible have a chance to ask a question. i would also ask that you identify yourself. with that i am happy to take questions. >> the scenario that's been outlined to us, is there -- dead man's is that correct? >> yes. the train had a dead man -- >> have you taken [inaudible] we don't know
what that sequence was. at this point, it is too earl hi to comment on that. yes, there was a dead man's pedal. another question. >> can you tell us -- what you know about the condition in the minutes and seconds before? [inaudible] so the question is what was the driver's condition before the crash. the interview that is was being conducted 24 afternoon, p froms is finished by now, but as i mentioned earlier, we don't release the specifics of the interviews until all of the interviews are conducted.
all right, let's recap all of this. let's do this, let's start with the critical question of the condition of the engineer at the time of -- you were taking notes as i was, at the time of this accident, as this train going into this curb, much too fast. 82 miles an hour, this is a 30 -- this is a curb, i understand to be taken at 30 miles an hour. you need tock slowing down. but the question is what was the condition of the engineer at that critical moment. and we had heard earlier in the day that the engineer has said that he zoned out. and that's -- the large remaining question to be answered here. >> right. this is according to published report. the engineer saying he
zoned out, didn't really fall asleep, but zoned out. they say they are in the midst right now of interviewing this engineer, and they also indicated they would not release information from that interview until they have conducted all of their interviews. so that can tame sock time. so they are still not confirming those reports that the engineer claimed he zoned out. no problems with the train on sunday, brakes tested fine. we are talking about william rockefeller. >> right. >> 15 years employee, second day of a five day work week. shift length may be an issue, but he is into the second day of a five day work week, he work
adenine hour shift routinely. >> and he had to be at work in five in the morning. and the train left on time. so we don't know what the day before was like for him, and the days before that. the ntsb will go back at least 72 hours to try to figure out did he get enough rest, what was his schedule. >> and ptc, earlier you talked about that. what is ptc technology? >> moss tiff train control. they have been advocates before this for decades. it is a very expensive system, that uses a lot of sensors, technology to take over control of that train. and would have prevented an accident like this. >> to talk more about these developments that
we just learned from this this news conference. she joins us on the phone from south carolina. good to talk to you, been. the brakes were fine, the interview with the engineer is going on right now, we also heard a strong endorsement of ptc technology, but to the critical question of whether or not the engineer was asleep or awake, the ntsb isn't saying conclusively at this point. >> even if they find that he was zoned out, whatever that means or dozed off, is probably what it means then they will have to go further and find out why.
there shall federal regulations that bar using substances. in hi had suffered maybe from sleep apnea, a lot of things they will look into beyond that. >> talk to me about -- we just heard from the ntsb, a strong endorsement for this technology. as i recall yesterday you are in favor of it. >> i am. because more advance and the faster trains of the world, those trains and those tracks have it. what it is is a system to put in a description, is a system where the track talks to the train. and the train talks to the track. there are monitors, sensors both on the train and the track, and some of the newest models use satellite technology, but it advises the train the speed, relative to the
track if there are any obstructions. if they have over speed, it won't let the train go over speed. that's how they can achieve the speeds that they can. >> can i ask you to put your prosecutors hat on, what about liable in a case like this where we have an engineer saying i zoned out. where does the liability fall? >> in the wrights, there are very few strict liable crimes. what you have to do is have a guilty mind. nourse, they have to show an intent to do something. if he had intentionally
taken illegal substances or was drunk, then that's an intent that's inferred. but if we had sleep apnea, or just dosed off, it is unlikely he will be charged with a crime. however, federal rail regulations do require adopt yous updating with your skill. so there's certainly a possibility of a licensing action. it's being called the pr offensive, in a push to away from the troubles.gov website, the president is kicking off a 20 day, aggressive campaign, what does that mean? the focus is to win back critical support for the
affordable care act, his corner stone legislation. >> yo have good ideas, bring them to me, let's go. but we are not repealing it as long as i'm president. >> okay, joining us now from the white house, it has been, to say the least, a rough two months for healthcare.gov. >> what was the president trying to accomplish with today's event? >> well, it has been a lost two months and now the deadline, this december 23rd deadline, if you are going to enroll and have insurance. appearing in the briefing room, for everything that
has gone wrong for the broken promise, if you like your insurance, you can keep it, for all the problems the website has been having it was part political rally they are freaking out on governor hill. they are worried that the faltering healthcare law is going to be a big problem. it was all part practical, because that deadline they are talking about. they are hoping the website can stand up to the traffic. so the president had all of these tasks in mind, let's listen to more. >> so we just need people to now that we are getting the technology fixed. we need you to take a look at what is going on. because it can make the difference in your lives and the lives of your families. >> so the president, once again, listing the abtributes of the affordable care act.
new details on what lead to that deadly plane crash in new york. the commuter train was traveling far too fast, more than 80 miles an hour down the track. the question is why? lisa stark joins us from washington. what is the latest? >> that train should have been going at 30 miles an hour around the curve. there are no published reports this morning including from wabc, those reports indicate that the engineer, william rockefeller has said he may have zoned out at the controls. he may have dosed off and then snapped awake too late to stop the train in time the ntsb will continue to interview the engineer and also look back at
president obama's kenyan born uncle will not long very to fight deportation with more on this and other headlines shaping today's news. >> tony, yeah, u.s. immigration judge says the kenyan born uncle can stay in the country, it comes after the relative dodge deportation for decades. 69-year-old testified that he had lived in the u.s. for 50 years, since deportation surfaced after a 2011 arrest for drunk driving. he is the half brother of the president's late father.
>> in thailand police have been ordered not to clash with demonstrators in the country, even though they were swarming government buildings. fighting began toon bangkok's middle class, and the prime minister. the former premier was ousted in the military. yet he still considered full power in the government. that scene and the system many accused of corruption. and secretary john kerry called for nearly two weeks demonstrators have rally in favor the ukraine president blocked any such attention today. after the operation lost a parliamentary vote that would have toppled the government.
now that may explain why they are better at multitasking and other skills. males connect more between the front and back, that may explain why they are more task oriented. >> really. >> yeah, but -- sometimes. i just don't ask for directions so that's what we all do. >> yeah, i am. >> appreciate it, thank you. >> . >> yeah, i was walking myself into that one. what a performance. >> they are better than a lot of people realize, they would be, and that could be the favorite for the super bowl. you never really know what is going to happen until it p has. and that's especially the case can in sports. the seahawks were not
considered to be the best coming into this season. >> they continue the domination from there as the 34-7 victory approved the record to 11-1 which is top in the nfl. now segals quarterback threw for 310 yards and three touch downs. we have great rest and came back strong, and you can tell that we had our legs and we were flying. so all fazes plays well. i would say the defense to hole that quarterback that coach and that team, to that kind of a
production night it is incredible for our guys. and the really cool thing is we didn't do anything special, we did what we like doing, we matched our guys up the way we always do, and i thought it was just obvious that kj wright had a great game. >> russell was fantastic. ben, he is just -- he just does it. he finds so many ways to make it hard on our opponent that he is tough to defend. but we are ready to get going again. so just the energy in the stadium, you can really feel the ground shaking. >> concern for the world
cup continues to grow, as news that three stadiums whether not be finished. the venues are behind schedule, including the stadium in south palo, where a crank killed two, workerrers and damaged part of the stadium. now, this is the venue set to host the opening match. they wanted all of the stadiums at least six months in advance, to each can have two test events. as more than 1 million tickets have already been sold for the 2014 world cup. 256 with 20 home runs and 60 teen rbi. when he missed the fist
month following the off season surgery on his right shoulder. he is a seven time all star, and a career 27 sen hitter over nine big league seasons. and in the nba, two of the best teams going at it last night, a power struggle between the east and the west. coming into the season as clearly that the best teams are on the west side of the mississippi river, and that includes the portland trail blazers that took on the pacers last night. they came in with a 16 h one record. won't eight and 10, and 26 points as the blazers handing the pacers just their second loss of the season. >> 106-102, incredible scene last night. you thought it was great in seattle. >> right. >> who was that man paul george? >> he is maybe, maybe the second best blare in the league right now behind
lebron james. k is saying a lot. >> yeah. >> all right, thank you, sir. >> europe's most active volcano is putting on quite a fiery show, mount ed that, erupted monday night, fell on several towns near the crater, but no evaccases were ordered. it has been an active year, this is its 19th eruption since january. dave warren is up next with the forecast, we are back in a moment, this is al jazeera america.
about a big arctic blast, this is the arctic front. minneapolis at 35 degrees. this cold air is coming on top of know, and really dumped about a foot. this is video that came in here the past day. people were out of school, but the snow is coming down like this. but the snow will continue. in another four to five-inches on top of that, they should be in
school, but they are not. they are taking the day off. always like to get a snow day. looks like the temperatures will be dropping though. so that snow may not be that comfortable to be outside tomorrow. the wind chill into the mid to low 20's, in fact, close to 30 below. that's by tomorrow evening. so certainly this is the blast. the cold air is moving south, the storm developed and actually moves north. then there's a little problem, it's not snow but ice. so you get the warm air coming on top of the cold air, it's not snow it is rain, and that will freeze on contact, this pink area could be freezing rain or ice accumulation from texas all the way up through oklahoma and arkansas and missouri. so this will be wednesday and thursday. very slick roads and most
likely power outages as that ice just accumulated. now, ahead of this front, it is pretty warm. and this is where it is on thursday. so these are the high temperatures. 20 to 30 in chicago, ten to 20, and that's without the wind chill. chicago, 50, 55, and then dropping to 30. 20, and 22. thursday, friday, and saturday. that's that cold blast, and the timing to thursday and friday. new york will be into the 60's on thursday, then 55 and 41. the cold air is here.
you. >> this is al jazeera america live from new york, new york. i'm tony harris with a look at today's top stories. detroit has become the largest u.s. city to ever enter bankcy. the city's $18 billion debt could include cutting pensions. results of drug and alcohol tests on the train operator of the train that went offel rails came